Canada: Quebec’s new ‘Gold Standard’ and a push for stronger protections in Ontario

Quebec makes waves as the federal law reform is stalled. By Abigail Dubiniecki, a privacy lawyer in Canada.

On 22 September 2021, the Canadian province of Quebec signed into law the much-anticipated Bill 64, An Act to modernize legislative provisions as regards the protection of personal information (Law 64), making Quebec the new “gold standard” for privacy in North America and possibly the world. Ontario, Canada’s second largest province and “home to almost 50% of all employees in high tech, financial services and other knowledge-intensive industries”(1) has signalled it may soon follow suit. Meanwhile, draft Federal private sector privacy legislation, C-11,(2) which was intended to replace the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), recently died on the order paper when the government called a snap election. It had received significant criticism from privacy advocates and businesses alike, and it is unclear whether it will be revived.

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